Damage caps, also known as “tort reform,” are laws that limit the amount of damages that can be awarded to plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. These caps may apply to different types of damages, such as economic damages (e.g. medical expenses, lost wages) or non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering, emotional distress). The idea behind damage caps is to limit the financial exposure of defendants and their insurance companies, which is supposed to lower the cost of insurance and reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits.
Does New York Have a Cap on Truck Accident Damages?
New York State does not have a cap on damages for truck accidents, specifically. Additionally, there may be limits on damages that can be recovered from a particular defendant, such as in cases involving government entities. It’s best to consult with a lawyer in the state of New York for specific information about your case.
How Frequently Do Truck Accidents Occur in New York?
Truck accidents are relatively frequent in New York. According to data from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV), there were approximately 12,000 truck accidents in the state in 2019. These accidents resulted in over 3,000 injuries and 140 deaths.
It’s important to note that these numbers may not capture the full extent of truck accidents in the state, as not all crashes are reported to the NYSDMV. Additionally, the statistics don’t account for the severity of truck accidents, which can range from minor fender-benders to multi-vehicle pileups with serious injuries or fatalities.
It is also worth noting that New York City and Long Island have a higher number of truck accidents compared to the rest of the state, as these areas have more traffic and more commercial vehicles on the road due to their ports, airports and industrial areas.
Why Truck Accident Claims Can Be Challenging
Truck accident claims can present a number of unique challenges compared to other types of motor vehicle accident claims.
Some of these challenges include:
- More severe injuries: Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks can cause much more damage and result in more severe injuries than smaller vehicles. These injuries can include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death.
- Multiple defendants: Truck accident claims can involve multiple defendants, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and even the company that loaded the cargo. Each of these parties may have separate legal representation and insurance coverage, which can make the claims process more complex.
- Federal regulations: The trucking industry is heavily regulated by federal laws and regulations, which can affect liability in truck accident cases. For example, trucking companies and drivers must comply with hours-of-service regulations, vehicle maintenance requirements, and drug and alcohol testing rules. A violation of these regulations can be used as evidence of negligence in a truck accident case.
- Preservation of evidence: In truck accident cases, it’s crucial to preserve evidence, such as the truck’s black box, the driver’s logs, and any video footage from nearby cameras, as they can provide important information about the cause of the accident and the actions of the driver and the company.
- Complex negotiation process: Because of the high costs of injuries and potential multiple defendants, truck accident claims typically require a complex negotiation process with insurance companies and their lawyers. This process can be time-consuming and may involve multiple rounds of negotiation to reach a settlement.
- Litigation: If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case may go to trial, which can be more expensive and time-consuming than settling out of court.
Why Should I Hire Finz & Finz, P.C. to Represent Me?
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in New York, you should hire a lawyer with specific experience handling truck accident cases. As mentioned above, truck accident cases can be complex and require a significant investment of time and money. You’ll want to hire a local personal injury law firm with the resources to invest in your case, such as a team of investigators and experts.
For more than 35 years, Finz & Finz, P.C. has provided top-notch representation to those injured in truck accidents. Our track record of successful verdicts and settlements speaks for itself, and includes a record 24,500,000 settlement for a mother and child injured in a truck crash in New York. Let us put our experience and resources to work for you. Call us at 855-TOP-FIRM or reach out to us online for a FREE consultation.